[eDebate] debate's ombudsperson?

Kevin Sanchez let_the_american_empire_burn
Wed Aug 13 16:07:20 CDT 2008


any reporter who thinks using foul language or not wearing a suit-and-tie are
offenses assumptively worthy of reprimand lacks even a passing familiarity
with cross-examination debate as it's typically practiced.

not that debate should require defending, but these local-news stories sure
require some fact-checking. for instance, the story linked from cnn.com...

http://www.kctv5.com/education/17177382/detail.html#- : "School officials
said they believe things got out of control when the team got low scores
from two of the judges."

this isn't remotely close to when "things got out of control" (presuming they
ever did). it wasn't when the fort hays team got low scores; it wasn't even
when the fort hays team struck dr. reid-brinkley as a judge. the sentence
above seems to suggest that the (fort hays?) team was disgruntled about
low scores *in this particular round*. that's absolutely not the case, since,
to my knowledge, speaker points aren't generally awarded in out-rounds.

to understand the lead-up to this confrontation (well enough to, you know,
write a news story about it), one needs to understand a little something
about debate's procedure for selecting judges. if someone from c.e.d.a.
wasn't contacted for comment, it's fair to say the above reporter(s) didn't
do all of their homework. and this broadcaster (also from channel 5)...

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/youtube-video-shows-professor-mooning-classroom/2363931143/?icid=VIDURVNWS01

...claims "now this is a college debate", as if this occurred during an actual
round, not after the round had already ended. and again "low scores" are
cited as playing a causal role.

in the commentary on youtube and liveleak, i've already read some very
cable-newsy motifs developing: 'playing the race card' and 'liberalism in
education'. someone with the requisite qualifications needs to jump out
ahead of these inaccuracies, especially if the story gets more airtime, so
that unfair first impressions aren't attached to this round, the teams who
both participated in it civilly, or the forum which hosted it.
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